Do you want to decorate your home with the American flag? Are you looking to show off your American pride?
If you do, make sure that the way you’re hanging your flag is correct. You don't want to hang it proudly only for someone to point out you did something against flag code or unpatriotic.
In this guide, we’ll point out the common mistakes on the positions for flags. We’ll also include some suggestions on how to correct these mistakes.
Keep reading to learn more about these flag hanging mistakes you should avoid as a homeowner.
1. Displaying the Union in Reverse
It’s easy to figure out the correct orientation of the American flag. This is thanks to its asymmetrical nature. You only need to make sure that the Union is at the upper left-hand corner when you hang it.
When you’re hanging flags vertically, it can be tricky to discern where the Union goes. Does the Union go on the upper-left or upper-right corner? Well, for the viewers of the flag, it should be at the upper-left corner if you hang it in a vertical position.
What if you’re putting it up against the front window? Hang the flag as you’d display the posters or ads on in a store. That means it has to be facing outwards onto the street.
You’ll notice the rule remains the same no matter how you hang your flag. Whether it’s in an upright or horizontal position, the union remains in the same space. Also, never let anything block the flag from view.
2. Using a Worn American Flag
When your clothes have unintentional tears or openings on them, will you continue to wear them outside? Will you wear worn clothes for a social meeting or in a professional environment? You most likely won’t, so give the US flag the same respect.
Inspect the US flag that you often hang or display at home. Does it have tears or worn-out parts? If the flag isn’t in the right condition anymore as a display, then don’t hang it anymore.
Instead, retire the flag and get a new one to take its place. You can retire the flag in several ways. You can donate it to a local American Legion post or hold a burial ceremony for it.
3. Flying It in the Dark
Tradition says that you must fly the flag only from sunrise to sunset. However, there are national events that may last throughout the evening. Such events may include Memorial Day or Decoration Day.
If you plan to display the American flag after sunset, make sure you keep it illuminated. The lights you set up need to focus on the flag only. If you’re displaying multiple American flags, you must set up a spotlight for each one.
Some Americans like displaying flags outside their homes to show their patriotism. If you’re putting up an American flag on your front lawn or porch, set up some garden lights to focus on it. Check out our post for the best places at home to hang your flag.
4. You Hang the Flag Around Your Neck or on Your Person
This is one of the most common of the many flag hanging mistakes.
Today, you can find stores selling t-shirts, caps, and patches that look like the US flag. Some people even use the flag as a Halloween costume. You can also find pets wearing clothes that resemble mini American flags.
It's against flag code and that’s a big no-no. However, the American Legion says that garments with the design that look like the US flag is okay to wear.
If you plan to retrofit an actual American flag into a type of garment, don’t. The same goes for other uses that the flag isn’t for. That includes tablecloths, napkins, or couch cushions.
5. Letting the American Flag Touch the Ground
Some citizens hang large flags on their walls that span from floor to ceiling. If you’re one of them, make sure the flag ends at least a foot above the ground. This applies even if you’re only displaying American flags in bedrooms.
You mustn’t let the nation’s flag touch the ground. This is a sign of respect for the most well-known symbol of the country.
A hanging flag also mustn’t touch other surfaces. That includes the roof of your house, the top of your car, or the awning of your home. This rule also protects the flag from getting dirty or damaged.
6. Hanging the Flag During Inclement Weather
Be proud if you live in New Hampshire, Wyoming, or Idaho. Together with Maryland and Alaska, these states are the most-patriotic states in the US. However, in many of these states, you can’t always expect clear skies.
If you want to show off your patriotism, check the day’s weather report first. If there is a chance of rain, strong winds, or even windstorms, take the flag down. As a citizen, you have to protect the American flag from weather damage and other types of damage.
The US Flag Code states that you can only display the flag during bad weather if you’re using an all-weather flag. Often, these use colorfast nylon material. They can withstand most weather conditions and are the ideal types for outdoor use.
7. Flying the American Flag Below Another One on the Same Staff
Do you have only one pole but two flags to display? The US Flag Code states that the American flag must be above any other flag. The US flag is the highest of all other flags, be it a company flag or state flag.
There are a few more rules about how to display the US flag with other flags. If you have two poles for different flags, hang the US flag on the left. If you’re displaying two flags with crossed staffs against a wall, the US flag is in the front and on the left side.
Avoid These Flag Hanging Mistakes
That’s it for our guide on the most common flag hanging mistakes homeowners make. Remember to treat it with respect: don't wear it, don't let it touch the ground, and don't hang it in reverse!
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